In the late 1980s, Adidas appeared on the SSA’s baby name for three consecutive years:
- 1990: unlisted
- 1989: 5 baby boys named Adidas
- 1988: 6 baby boys named Adidas
- 1987: 5 baby boys named Adidas
- 1986: unlisted
The name can obviously be traced back to sportswear company Adidas, which was established in 1949 and named after founder Adolf “Adi” Dassler.
But the baby name Adidas was inspired by music, not by sports.
In 1986, Run-DMC released the song “My Adidas” [vid]. The song was written in response to an editorial entitled “Felon Shoes” written by Dr. Deas, who claimed that kids wearing Adidas shoes and nice clothes were drug dealers and “felons.” The Run-DMC song defended the shoes and those who wore them. In an interview, Darryl “DMC” McDaniels explained:
Here’s the perfect chance for us to write about these sneakers, you know, cause it was associated with the hood, and it was associated with so much negativity. We said here’s a way to get back at Dr. Deas, because we looked at ourselves, yeah, we came from the street corner, yeah, you know, we on the corner with the thugs and stuff like that. But you can’t just look at us cause we wear these sneakers and judge us. So, I was like, from my point of view, I wanted to tell Dr. Deas, yeah I wear these sneakers, but my Adidas went around the world. My Adidas changed people’s lives. These Adidas don’t just stand on the corner of Hollis and 2-5th street. I stepped on stage at Live Aid, which was unheard of.
The “corner of Hollis and 2-5th street” (Hollis Avenue and 205th Street) in Hollis, Queens, was renamed Run-DMC JMJ Way in 2009.
Image: Adapted from Adidas Run DMC shoe by eric molina under CC BY 2.0.